How Important Is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

personal injury statute of limitationsWhen you or someone you love has suffered a personal injury caused by someone else, it is vital that you act quickly to secure your rights. The personal injury statute of limitations is the deadline for you to bring a legal claim to secure your rights. If you fail to file a lawsuit by the date prescribed, you will lose your right to sue. If you have sustained injuries, contact an injury lawyer at Brylak Law as soon as possible. 

Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

People can suffer different types of personal injury. In Texas, the personal injury statute of limitations will differ depending on your type of injury. Here is a list of some of the limitation periods in Texas:   

1 year

  • Libel
  • Slander

2 Years

  • Assault and battery
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal injury
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death

4 years

  • Fraud

Generally, the personal injury statute of limitations will begin to run on the date you suffer the injury. If you need to file a lawsuit, you must do so within the limitations period. For instance, if you are injured in an automobile accident, in Texas you will have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.

It is very important that you consult with an attorney after you suffer an injury. Brylak Law can help you determine whether your injury was caused by negligence and which parties might be responsible.

The Discovery Rule Can Alter the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Under certain circumstances, the limitations period will run not from the date of the injury itself, but from the date you learned of the injury or the date you should have learned of the injury.

When You Discovered the Injury

The injury may have been hidden or difficult for you to discover. Because you did not or could not have known of the injury or how it was caused, you’re not held to the normal limitations period. In those cases, the limitations period may not begin to run until you actually discover the injury. For instance, you did not realize at the time of your automotive accident that you suffered a concussion. When you were examined by a doctor a week later, the doctor discovered the injury. The limitations period will not begin to run until you learned of the concussion.

Some injuries may not manifest themselves for years or decades. A good example of a personal injury that can takes years to uncover is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was commonly used in manufacturing, building construction, and shipbuilding for decades before its effects on the human body were fully understood. The symptoms of asbestos damage, like mesothelioma, may not occur until two or even three decades after you were exposed. In cases like exposure to asbestos, the two year personal injury statute of limitations still applies but it does not begin to run when you discover or should have discovered the cause of your injury.

When You Should Have Discovered the Injury

In some cases, the limitations period will begin to run when you should have discovered the injury. For instance, if your doctor fails to remove a sponge during surgery, it could be days or weeks before you notice anything amiss. The limitations period will not begin to run until you discover or should have discovered the doctor’s error.

The delay in discovering the injury has to be reasonable. If you ignore your symptoms, your condition worsens, and you fail to investigate, a court may later determine that you would have discovered the injury if you had investigated the symptoms when they began. The personal injury statute of limitations will run from the date you should have discovered the injury, not the date of the surgery or the date you actually learned of the doctor’s error.

Special Rules for Medical Malpractice

Despite the discovery rule, in Texas, all health care claims must be brought within ten years of the date of the injury.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations for a Minor

The statute of limitations also differs when the victim is under the age of 18. For a minor, the personal injury statute of limitations will not begin to run until the child reaches the age of 18, except for medical malpractice claims. When a medical malpractice injury occurs to a child under 12, a lawsuit must be brought by the child’s 14th birthday. A minor 14 and over must adhere to the regular two year statute of limitations for medical liability claims.

To Protect Your Rights, Schedule a Case Evaluation With Brylak Law

Time is of the essence. Brylak Law will evaluate your case for free and determine which personal injury statute of limitations will apply. Contact Brylak Law today.

2017-10-19T20:30:32+00:00